Blue Boxes

USPS has been holding hiring events for the holiday season, plus the Postal Service issued a warning about using the blue collection bins.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is gearing up for their busiest season of the year – the holidays. All over the country, hiring events are being held to attract new employees to both seasonal and more permanent positions. The efforts to ramp up hiring began at the end of October. Occupations that are most in need of being filled are mail processors, mail delivery drivers and carriers, transportation experts, and maintenance positions. Potential applicants have to be 18 years or older (or 16 with a high school diploma in some states), pass a drug screen, clear a background check, and some occupations require a preliminary exam. Some areas, like Easy Bay, CA near Berkley, were hoping to fill 500 positions prior to their first hiring event, which took place on October 26th.

Is This the End of the Blue Box?

There was a time when the payphone was even more ubiquitous than the USPS blue collection bins. However, as cell phone use grew, the payphone slowly disappeared, dropping from 2 million in 1999 to just roughly 100,000 today. That’s a decrease of 95%. The USPS’ familiar blue boxes located on street corners and in shopping centers across America might be on a trajectory to a similar fate as the payphone, but for a very different reason.

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The US Postal Service recently issued a warning that people should cease using the blue boxes and to instead use retail counters or collection slots located inside post offices. If there are no options but a blue collection bin, the USPS recommended avoid certain drop-off times at night, on Sundays, or on federal holidays. According to the warning, criminals are strategically targeting the blue boxes for theft. Identity theft and check-washing schemes are the two most prevalent crimes associated with those who are stealing from the collection bins.

So, if people heed the USPS warning, it’s feasible to imagine the slow disappearance of the blue collection bins that have been a piece of Americana for decades. The Postal Service is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides tips that leads to the arrest of someone who has been stealing from the collection boxes, but that might not be enough to save the blue box from the fate of the payphone.


Until Next Time,

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Blue Boxes

USPS Blue Boxes